Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland announced that Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) of the UK will be appointed as an Authorized Service Centre for the new generation AW169 light intermediate helicopter in UK.
The company will ensure a range of support and maintenance services are supplied for the new model, following the selection of SAS by prime HEMS customers of the type in UK who will start introducing the new helicopter into service at the end of 2015.
SAS,who signed a contract for a total of six AW169 helicopters in 2012,has already been selected by two UK HEMS customers to operate their emergency medical service-configured AW169s with more allocations pending.
Group Managing Director, Henk Schaeken has stated: “We are very proud to be selected for this appointment and are already fully engaged in preparing for the introduction of the aircraft into the SAS fleet later this year. We are busy training our engineers and pilots as well as making changes at our bases to manage the new inventory and tooling required for us to provide the same high level of aircraft availability and support which our customers have come to expect from us.”
SAS chose the AW169 as it offers the best capabilities and performance in its class with potential to greatly enhance the operations of SAS’ customers. Outstanding performance, inherent safety features, payload, cabin size and design, and its many advanced features are among the characteristics recognized by operators who have already selected the AW169 in UK. Initial orders logged in this market so far will be used for EMS and executive/private transport missions.
A versatile, new generation twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the 4.5 tonne AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance, meets all the latest safety standards and has multi-role capabilities. The AW169 incorporates several new technology features in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems.
The AW169 is part of the AgustaWestland family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW139 and AW189 models, which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance/training concept. This commonality will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 tonne categories.
Almost 150 AW169 helicopters have now been ordered by customers around the world for a wide range of applications including air ambulance, law enforcement, corporate & VIP transport, offshore transport and utility roles.